Home > News > Regional
Friday January 24, 2014 MYT 6:45:00 PM
Friday January 24, 2014 MYT 9:19:00 PM
MIHTARLAM, Afghanistan: Gunmen shot dead five young Afghan men playing volleyball, officials said Friday, but Taliban insurgents responsible for much of Afghanistan's unrest denied any involvement in the killings.
Former warlord Ismail Khan, a vice-presidential candidate in the forthcoming April election, also escaped an apparent assassination attempt when a suicide bomber detonated himself outside a mosque after Friday prayers.
The volleyball players were gunned down in the eastern province of Laghman by attackers riding on a motorbike.
"Armed men opened fire on a volleyball game. The players were young men, all innocent, and all of them were killed," Sarhadi Zwak, spokesman for Laghman's provincial governor, told AFP.
The Taliban regime between 1996-2001 banned volleyball and many other activities, but a spokesman for the group said it was not responsible for Thursday's deaths.
"We completely reject this allegation. We are not involved in this killing at all. Those who killed them are not our men," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP.
Some local reports said the victims had been playing cricket, but Habib-ul-Rahman, the governor of Alingar district where the attack took place, confirmed the provincial spokesman's account and death toll.
President Hamid Karzai condemned the attack and said such violence would not deter Afghans' search for peace and development.
Ismail Khan was unhurt when an elderly man triggered a suicide bomb in Herat - the western city where Khan is an influential figure.
"The attacker, who was an old man, detonated explosives strapped to his body near the entrance to the mosque after Ismail Khan came outside. There were no other casualties," Herat police spokesman Abdul Rauf Ahmadi told AFP.
In other violence, officials said the body of a murdered journalist was found in the southern province of Helmand. No group has claimed responsibility for his death. -AFP
German AP photographer shot dead in Afghanistan
Pakistan female singer shot dead
Soldier shoots dead five colleagues, self in Indian Kashmir
Cop who shot dead pregnant woman executed
Separatist rebel shot dead in Indonesia's Papua
For love – and luxury
N. Korea’s elite cyber warriors
AirAsia Indonesia plane with 162 on board missing en route to Singapore
Leung praised for not giving in to protesters
How you become a victim of online crime
Hippo jumps from moving truck in Taiwan, startling locals
Will Idris Elba be the next 007?
Torres to return to Atletico Madrid on loan
Navigating the cyber-rapids: How social networks influence our decisions
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)